Geek Girls: The Next Dispute Resolution Superheroes?

Fifty years ago there was only a few different communication channels.  If you wanted to have a conversation with someone, you had two basic options; meet in-person or call them on the telephone.  Today, thanks (or no thanks, as the case may be) to technology, your options have increased, a lot… add to the above: email, text, internet chat, mobile, video conference… to name a few.   And, nobody is more fluid in flipping between these channels than geek girls, digital natives.

geek girls

Digital natives are different

We know that the pervasiveness of technology in current students’ lives has resulted in a generation that thinks and processes information fundamentally differently than their predecessors – digital natives versus digital immigrants.

I think we have so much to learn from digital natives.  University of British Columbia professor, and mediator, Sharon Sutherland and I recently collaborated on a workshop session, on this topic, at the North-West Dispute Resolution Conference in Seattle.  We explored several areas in which the digital native (and, in particular, the young women of this generation) are developing skills and characteristics that will lend themselves to dispute resolution careers.   We discussed in the session, and it was a lively discussion, ways in which these differences may just lead to innovative and exciting dispute resolution practices.

May 14 in Vancouver

On my own, I’ll be doing pretty much the same session (as Seattle) with a few new twists, for the CoRe Conflict Resolution Clinic, in Vancouver, on May 14.  For more info on the event, click here (CoRe website) or here (CoRe Facebook page).

Digital natives and me

When it comes to digital natives, I’m constantly surprised and humbled.  Here’s a few examples of what the digital natives in my world, including my daughter, have taught me:

  • new ways to innovate, through collaborative partnerships
  • the power of peer-based conflict resolution
  • new storytelling techniques, merging Joseph Campbell’s hero journey with popular culture
  • technology application… goes without saying!
  • social entrepreneurship; commitment to changing the world, for the greater good

Totally relevant and inspiring.  Of course, the upside of connecting with those different than us should come as no surprise, at least to anyone who understands the power of diversity and collaboration.

Digital natives and you

Ok, that’s my take.  What’s yours’ when it comes to digital natives?   What are you learning from them?  If you’re in Vancouver on May 14, I hope you’ll tell me, in-person.   And, if you are a digital native, what should I know about you? 🙂

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